Antonio Valencia left Man Utd this summer after spending a number of years at Old Trafford and silently been one of the best players at the club in the “late years” of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex paid Wigan Athletic £16million for Valencia’s services back in 2009. He had then spent two seasons with The Latics and done well in Premier League action, impressing managers of bigger clubs with his great attitude and good skills.
A number of injuries stopped him from more games at Man Utd, but his “collection” of major titles in football has made him a “grossist” in trophies. Premier League titles from 2010/11 and 2012/13, FA Cup winner, 2015/16, EFL League Cup winner 2009/10 and 2016/17. UEFA Europa League winner 2016/17.
He won a number of individual honors as well, one being that goal of the month award from September 2017. What a fantastic goal. A volley from outside the box just pasted into the left corner. Valencia had those skills and that wonderful technique that makes him one player that you would say in some way was “complete”.
After a glorious time at Man Utd dong so well, he is now back in Ecuador playing for last seasons champions L.D.U. Quito. Valencia might have left a big club, and a big city, but moving back to Quito, the capitol of Ecuador might not be that different, with 1,9million citizens inside the city and the club attracting attendances as high as almost 20 000.
Valencia made his debut v. local rival America, winning 1-0. L.D.U. are currently 6th in the table and after 18 games they are far from the top position 13 points behind leader Macara.
Despite seen as a player of less importance at Man Utd in his latter years and being released by newly appointed manager at the club Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Valencia is still in demand at international level. He was often captain of Man Utd and also had the armband occasionally last season.
Still a of great standards he was in that Ecuador team in Copa America this summer, playing Uruguay, Chile and Japan. Sadly they ended bottom of their group, with only one point from those games, coming in a 1-1 draw against Japan.
One of the finest imports of English football will continue his career in his home country and hopefully he will have a few more years left in football, and it came as no surprise that “the player of silence” would not jump at an adventure in China or MLS, but instead move back and be part of “family” in Ecuador.